min·​u·​et | \ ˌmin-yə-ˈwet How to pronounce minuet (audio) \

Definition of minuet

1 : a slow graceful dance in ³/₄ time characterized by forward balancing, bowing, and toe pointing
2 : music for or in the rhythm of a minuet

Examples of minuet in a Sentence

The orchestra played a minuet.

Recent Examples on the Web

As part of the diplomatic minuet of arranging such sessions, the Chinese side wanted to be invited. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "‘Bring Me Tariffs’—How Trump and Xi Drove Their Countries to the Brink of a Trade War," 28 Nov. 2018 Of course, none of this mushroom minuet would have mattered had the Carnaroli rice not been cooked to the ideal balance of al dente creaminess, even while soaking up a splash of potent truffle oil, lending the dish a woodsy earthiness. Andrew Marton, star-telegram, "Dining experience at San Daniele in Grapevine can be described in one word: bellisimo | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 25 Apr. 2018 The transition from the penultimate fugue to the final minuet, a series of floating chords, really did seem to be pointing beyond this world: whether toward heaven or apocalypse, Mr. Levit kept painfully ambiguous. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: Igor Levit, a Pianist for Polarizing Times," 12 Feb. 2017 George and Martha danced a minuet, captured in a drawing displayed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian, "When Was the First Inaugural Ball?," 19 Jan. 2017 And the final march into Valhalla, staged amusingly as a pompous minuet that keeps getting interrupted by the wailing Rhinemaidens, suggested that this moment of triumph was illusory, and would be short-lived. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Black-Comedy Take on Wagner," 10 Oct. 2016 The mystery genre is a minuet between disruption and order. Laura Miller, The New Yorker, "Tana French’s Intimate Crime Fiction," 3 Oct. 2016 The cakewalk was a dance, created by slaves in imitation (some accounts say in mockery) of the white minuet. John Jeremiah Sullivan, New York Times, "‘Shuffle Along’ and the Lost History of Black Performance in America," 24 Mar. 2016 The mechanics of a Pipeline stop are much like a minuet, except the trooper is the only one who hears the music or knows the steps--all of which lead inexorably to a thorough search of your car. Gary Webb, Esquire, "Driving While Black," 29 Jan. 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minuet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of minuet

1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minuet

French menuet, from obsolete French, tiny, from Old French, from menu small, from Latin minutus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minuet

Dictionary Entries near minuet

mint state







Statistics for minuet

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minuet

The first known use of minuet was in 1672

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for minuet



English Language Learners Definition of minuet

: a slow, graceful dance that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries
: the music for a minuet


min·​u·​et | \ ˌmin-yə-ˈwet How to pronounce minuet (audio) \

Kids Definition of minuet

: a slow graceful dance

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on minuet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minuet

Spanish Central: Translation of minuet

Nglish: Translation of minuet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minuet

Comments on minuet

What made you want to look up minuet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!